When patients stay in hospitals for longer periods of time, doctors want blood tests taken every several hours to monitor various conditions. However, doing so is very expensive and requires drawing vials of blood from a patient, then waiting for the results of blood analyses to come back from the lab– a process which can take hours. Now, Europe’s Sphere Medical is aiming to change all of this with the development of the Proxima.
The Proxima is a small chip which attaches to the arterial line most patients have when in the hospital. The chip is accompanied by a bedside control panel monitor. When the control panel is activated, blood begins to flow into the patient’s arterial line, feeding information into the Proxima chip. The Proxima provides real-time results of blood gas, hematocrit, and electrolyte measurements as often as necessary, without additional cost to the patient. After the measurements are taken and results displayed on the control panel monitor, the blood sampled is returned to the patient’s body.
Proxima has received the European CE Mark of approval– the equivalent of an FDA approval in the United States.